Crochet skills raffle prize ‘such fun’

MHWI member Jenny Hirst reports, ‘My grand-daughter and I have just had our 3rd session of learning how to crochet with Clare Farquhar, our president.
‘We have had such fun and Clare was not phased at all with Imi (14 yrs) being left handed. I have refreshed an old skill and Imi  has learnt a new one, and with the extra help from a YouTube video for left handers, she has produced her own designs.
‘Clare was patient, enthusiastic and eager to show us her extraordinary creativity. A great raffle prize, please let’s have another one soon.
‘I must admit I put off claiming my prize for a few weeks, but I am so pleased I did stake my claim.
‘Thank you Clare, you were great!!’

Funerals 2015 style

Jonathan Stamp-w500-h500Facebook, a dedicated website, emails to track planning, money giving on line, coffins printed with your favourite pictures plus a music bank at Kettering Crematorium, are all ways that technology and social media are changing funerals in 2015.

Jonathan Stamp, third generation family member of J Stamp and Sons, Market Harborough, gave a fascinating insight into how friends and families can plan unique funerals that celebrate the life of the deceased person.  In fact, some people even plan their own funerals in great detail while still alive and pay for it!  Whatever, Jonathan, his 2 cousins, plus a support team of men and women (historically across the profession women were not involved),  bring a wealth of experience from former roles to provide a professional service to local residents.  They are always happy to accommodate any request as part of either a religious, humanist or civic funeral.

Jack Stamp set up the company up back in 1946 and much of the early history is written in his own book ‘Step by Step.’   Originally Jack undertook a diverse range of activities around the town in order to support his family, moving eventually to the current premises In Kettering Road.  He bought the almost derelict building and renovated it.  The company now specialises in both funeral directing and monuments.  Again, up to date technology supports the design process.

An excellent insight into the history of J Stamp & Sons and how they are adapting  to the changes in public demand in 2015.  Apparently, even our final ‘wooden suits’ are now bought in and not made locally.

Tomorrow’s monthly meeting – history of Stamps funeral service

We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow evening at 7.30 pm at the Congregational Hall, Little Bowden Lane, Market Harborough.  Local company, J Stamp & Sons, who have provided a funeral service to the town for many years, will take us on a  journey through time and looking at the changes of funerals over the years

Volunteers for monthly programme or social events

Would you like to help organise one of our monthly programme meetings for 2016?    You don’t have to be on the committee, just willing to contact the speaker (we have lots of ideas and contacts, thanks to all your suggestions), meet the host on the night, make sure they have everything they need and give a thank you at the end.

Or, maybe you have an idea for a one off social event?  Perhaps there is somewhere you would like to go with a group of MHWI members or a special speaker you would like to invite for a one off activity night?  If you would like to make this happen and are willing to organise the event, we’d love to hear from you.  Speak to a member of the committee at the next monthly meeting or drop us an email: marketharboroughwi@gmail.com

Diane’s day at the Palace

Diane Claridge - Palace-w500-h500

Diane Claridge at the WI Centenary Garden Party on 2 June 2015

I had a truly wonderful and memorable day at the Buckingham Palace WI Centenary Garden party.  The excitement started as we arrived to join the coach at Wigston.  To see so many ladies in their finery and hats, especially when three coaches stopped for a comfort break at Toddington services, was quite a sight.  

When we arrived at the palace we joined the long queue to have our ID’s checked before going through the main gates to the inner courtyard and through two galleries full of beautiful flowers and works of art, before emerging on to the terrace. There was a brass band playing and 12 Yeoman of the guard looking extremely colourful in their uniforms.  The weather was kind, the tea and cakes were amazing, miniature Victoria sandwich cakes, raspberry tarts, tiny eclairs and even a fun sized Battenburg cake!   

But the real icing on the cake was being invited, with a few others, to be personally introduced to Sophie, Countess of Wessex. We shook hands and had a little chat, she told us her daughter is doing exams at school and we had a laugh when she said she regretted wearing a flimsy dress on such a windy day! We saw the ‘Calendar Girls’ and the Duchess of Cornwall at a distance. The range of fashions was a real spectacle with some stunning hats and outfits of every colour imaginable. It was especially good to talk to ladies from all over the country and hear about their WI meetings. The only downside was the 25 minute queue for the toilets but it gave me an opportunity to talk to some very nice ladies from Wales.  So all in all it was a real privilege to be chosen to attend and something I shall never forget.